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Table of contents
  1. Preface
  2. 1 Introduction to Philosophy
    1. Introduction
    2. 1.1 What Is Philosophy?
    3. 1.2 How Do Philosophers Arrive at Truth?
    4. 1.3 Socrates as a Paradigmatic Historical Philosopher
    5. 1.4 An Overview of Contemporary Philosophy
    6. Summary
    7. Key Terms
    8. References
    9. Review Questions
    10. Further Reading
  3. 2 Critical Thinking, Research, Reading, and Writing
    1. Introduction
    2. 2.1 The Brain Is an Inference Machine
    3. 2.2 Overcoming Cognitive Biases and Engaging in Critical Reflection
    4. 2.3 Developing Good Habits of Mind
    5. 2.4 Gathering Information, Evaluating Sources, and Understanding Evidence
    6. 2.5 Reading Philosophy
    7. 2.6 Writing Philosophy Papers
    8. Summary
    9. Key Terms
    10. References
    11. Review Questions
    12. Further Reading
  4. 3 The Early History of Philosophy around the World
    1. Introduction
    2. 3.1 Indigenous Philosophy
    3. 3.2 Classical Indian Philosophy
    4. 3.3 Classical Chinese Philosophy
    5. Summary
    6. Key Terms
    7. References
    8. Review Questions
    9. Further Reading
  5. 4 The Emergence of Classical Philosophy
    1. Introduction
    2. 4.1 Historiography and the History of Philosophy
    3. 4.2 Classical Philosophy
    4. 4.3 Jewish, Christian, and Islamic Philosophy
    5. Summary
    6. Key Terms
    7. References
    8. Review Questions
    9. Further Reading
  6. 5 Logic and Reasoning
    1. Introduction
    2. 5.1 Philosophical Methods for Discovering Truth
    3. 5.2 Logical Statements
    4. 5.3 Arguments
    5. 5.4 Types of Inferences
    6. 5.5 Informal Fallacies
    7. Summary
    8. Key Terms
    9. References
    10. Review Questions
    11. Further Reading
  7. 6 Metaphysics
    1. Introduction
    2. 6.1 Substance
    3. 6.2 Self and Identity
    4. 6.3 Cosmology and the Existence of God
    5. 6.4 Free Will
    6. Summary
    7. Key Terms
    8. References
    9. Review Questions
    10. Further Reading
  8. 7 Epistemology
    1. Introduction
    2. 7.1 What Epistemology Studies
    3. 7.2 Knowledge
    4. 7.3 Justification
    5. 7.4 Skepticism
    6. 7.5 Applied Epistemology
    7. Summary
    8. Key Terms
    9. References
    10. Review Questions
    11. Further Reading
  9. 8 Value Theory
    1. Introduction
    2. 8.1 The Fact-Value Distinction
    3. 8.2 Basic Questions about Values
    4. 8.3 Metaethics
    5. 8.4 Well-Being
    6. 8.5 Aesthetics
    7. Summary
    8. Key Terms
    9. References
    10. Review Questions
    11. Further Reading
  10. 9 Normative Moral Theory
    1. Introduction
    2. 9.1 Requirements of a Normative Moral Theory
    3. 9.2 Consequentialism
    4. 9.3 Deontology
    5. 9.4 Virtue Ethics
    6. 9.5 Daoism
    7. 9.6 Feminist Theories of Ethics
    8. Summary
    9. Key Terms
    10. References
    11. Review Questions
    12. Further Reading
  11. 10 Applied Ethics
    1. Introduction
    2. 10.1 The Challenge of Bioethics
    3. 10.2 Environmental Ethics
    4. 10.3 Business Ethics and Emerging Technology
    5. Summary
    6. Key Terms
    7. References
    8. Review Questions
    9. Further Reading
  12. 11 Political Philosophy
    1. Introduction
    2. 11.1 Historical Perspectives on Government
    3. 11.2 Forms of Government
    4. 11.3 Political Legitimacy and Duty
    5. 11.4 Political Ideologies
    6. Summary
    7. Key Terms
    8. References
    9. Review Questions
    10. Further Reading
  13. 12 Contemporary Philosophies and Social Theories
    1. Introduction
    2. 12.1 Enlightenment Social Theory
    3. 12.2 The Marxist Solution
    4. 12.3 Continental Philosophy’s Challenge to Enlightenment Theories
    5. 12.4 The Frankfurt School
    6. 12.5 Postmodernism
    7. Summary
    8. Key Terms
    9. References
    10. Review Questions
  14. Index

6.1 Substance

The Latin term substantia, translated as “substance,” is often used to refer to the basic reality supporting or standing under features that are incidental to that same thing. Ancient Greek philosophers were both monists and dualists. Indian philosophers developed the idea of atomism. The challenge of persistence (i.e., whether a thing could be said to retain identity despite changes introduced through time) can be explored through the Ship of Theseus thought experiment.

6.2 Self and Identity

There are different answers to the question “What is the self?” The Judeo-Christian view tends to posit the “really real,” or the true self, in terms of a soul. Hindu and Buddhist views identify the self with the “atman.” Atman is an ancient term and has many meanings, but typically the term is translated as eternal self, soul, or even breath. Unlike in the Judeo-Christian view, the soul is reincarnated until the self attains release from reincarnation (moksha). The Buddhist doctrine of No Self (anatman) challenged the Western view in which the self is understood as enduring. There is no persistent self; within Buddhism, the “me” is ephemeral.

A second issue addressed within this subsection is the reality of the mind. Many people identify the mind as the brain. Perhaps the attempts to reduce thinking to an independent mind are relics of an outdated view. The hard problem of consciousness is identified as the inability to explain one’s awareness of being aware. Behaviorism, the understanding of the self in terms of behavior, is one possible explanation for the ultimate reality of the self.

6.3 Cosmology and the Existence of God

The attempt to demonstrate the existence of God has taken many forms and occurred across multiple cultures. Cosmological arguments consider that which is found in experience—that is, they are a posteriori and move from observed effects to cause. Ontological arguments are not based in experience but call upon people as thinkers to apply reason in order to reach a conclusion (i.e., they are a priori arguments). These arguments, much as a geometer might consider the nature of a triangle and then prove a theorem concerning triangularity, do not appeal to experience. Rather, they pose that the basic attributes of God are known through reason. Moral theorists argue for the existence of a divine being through a consideration of the possibility of objective values.

How might the existence of evil support or argue against the existence of a god? The evidential problem of evil considers the reality of suffering and challenges the attributes we might apply to God given the existence of suffering. As not all traditions assume the same cosmology, some traditions (such as the African or Yoruban view) do not have this particular issue. Augustine, working within a Christian cosmology, attempted to answer the challenge by positing evil as the absence of good. Thus, a god could not be challenged as being good if evil existed as evil was merely the privation (absence) of good.

6.4 Free Will

Does the sensation of freedom prove the existence of freedom? The metaphysical libertarian response declares that human action are free and outside of the causality observed governing natural objects. Because free choices exist, we are culpable for our decisions. The determinist response, in its so-called hard form, states that all actions are governed by the laws and principles observed in nature. According to this view, people’s actions, although accompanied by a feeling of freedom, are not in fact free. This section considers the soft determinist position, in which, as long as the moral agent did not face internal constraints concerning the choice at hand, the action could be free. Soft determinism is considered a compatibilist position, as the lack of alternative possibilities was considered compatible with freedom. Indeterminism, observing the inability of human reason to capture reality and all cause-and-effect chains in totality, asserts that the possibility of one event being outside of a cause-and-effect sequence is enough to assert the possibility of human freedom.

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